Yesterday started out a bit dicey. I (Deanne) went to bed not feeling so good. Sometime in the middle of the night I had to rush to the toilet because of nausea. It got worse by the minute. I really didn't think I was going to make it out of the hotel that day. We said a prayer and exercised faith that I would be able to get better. I woke up a little bit later, took a shower and got ready. I was doing better but not great. I was very grateful that I was able to get out and about and didn't completely hold Doug and Hannah back from seeing the sights.
We spent the morning at the Panda Reserve. Sichuan Province in China has 80% of the Panda population of the world. Unfortunately we have a pretty bad guide that insisted on taking us but didn't give us time to see the whole park. What we did see though was pretty cool.
Hannah has made a lot of comments on the goofy poses of the mannequins.
I dared her to make one of the poses.
Simon is making some progress with mom but there are plenty of steps backwards.
After the first day I really thought he would be doing great with me by the end of the week.
That's not the case. His walls are getting bigger and thicker. This picture is one of the first times he reached for my hand and wanted to be with me. Later on the in the day I was able to get him to play with me as we walked. It will come. It always does. It's just hard to know how much to push and how much to stand back and give him his space.
This is a baby panda. He was in a pen with his mama. It was so sweet to see them cuddle.
Simon loves his Hannah. How could he not? He goes to her first for most things but in wisdom Hannah reverts everything back to mom and dad. She is really great at this bonding stuff.
Wouldn't you just love to spend your day eating and sitting in a tree?
Simon enjoyed the pandas. We carried him most of the way because of his lack of oxygen. He got frustrated with it and wanted to walk. He told the guide he could walk by himself. We let him down and he started to walk up a big hill. It didn't take long for the signs of distress to come and the need to be held. I picked him up and a few minutes later the guide told Simon he had to get down because I was tired too. We had no idea what she was saying and she doesn't translate for us. So I let Simon down. When he started to do bad again the guide told me what she had said. We scooped him back up and he hasn't resisted our holding him since that moment.
There were quotes all over the park. This one was one of my favorites however, they left out the last line. It goes "All things bright and beautiful and creatures great and small. All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all." It was the part about God making all things they left off.
I wondered if anyone had heard me singing the song if I would have been in trouble.
Simon has learned to love his Baba. When we get to the door to walk out Simon will lift up his arms to Doug and want to be carried. As soon as Simon is in his daddy's embrace he wraps his arms around Doug's neck and squeezes tight as he gives him kisses on the cheek. It is so cute to watch.
The second night with Simon we tried to help him transition to sleep without crying. We got him ready for bed and started watching Finding Nemo on the iPad. Even though it was in English he enjoyed it. He made it through most of the movie then got down. We gave him the option once again where to sleep and he chose the floor. We put the bedding down and he laid right down with no crying. He sleeps like a rock.
There are so many similarities and yet so many differences to Gideon's adoption. Memories of Gideon have flooded back. I am grateful for the memories because it gives me greater peace knowing that Simon will bond and love me but at the same time it's hard. I expected this to happen and I'm very glad we were able to travel now instead of in a couple of weeks, which would have been the same timing as Gideon. There would have been many triggers because of a holiday coming up here in China and Easter at home. Once we get to Guangzhou I'm sure it will get harder. In Chengdu we are at a different hotel and a very different city but Guangzhou will be the same. I have found at moments my emotional strength lessen and I pray for help. I am very grateful for the knowledge of eternity. Recognizing that this life is but a small moment and all our difficulties are for our good to make us the people we need to be to be with our Father in Heaven again. Gideon and Joel have been great blessings to us in many ways. I'm sure Simon will be as well.
Doug commented the other day when Simon didn't look so good. He just can't think about it and the possibilities ahead. We can't allow ourselves to go there or we would rob Simon of the love he deserves. We have said many times when Gideon was struggling and even after his death we would do it all over again. Well, here we are. We don't regret this at all but it doesn't make it easy. Dare I say this is our last adoption from China? Our agency doesn't think so. :)